Advertisement
| 08 July, 2018

Limiting kids' online activities sparks debate among parents in UAE

Parents in the UAE have had mixed responses when it comes to monitoring their children's phone and limiting access

Children try out networked computer laptops in the Digitial Classroom at the Microsoft stand at the CeBIT Technology Fair on March 1, 2010 in Hannover, Germany. CeBIT will be open to the public from March 2 through March 6. 
Images used for illustrative purposes.

Children try out networked computer laptops in the Digitial Classroom at the Microsoft stand at the CeBIT Technology Fair on March 1, 2010 in Hannover, Germany. CeBIT will be open to the public from March 2 through March 6. Images used for illustrative purposes.

Getty Images/Sean Gallup

Has it become impossible to get your child to give up their iPads, phones and other gadgets? Are they spending too much time on it? This is probably one of the important issues parents of 21st-century children are facing and it gets worse during school days when you want your child to focus on their studies.

In September, Apple will launch a built-in feature in their iOS12 that will allow parents to lock certain apps on their child's iPhone or iPad, limit access to apps, monitor amount of usage of phone and each app, check how many times their child has picked up their phone and change their password.

The feature called Screen Time is meant to tackle phone addiction in not only adults but, also children.

There are parental control apps already available, such as Watchover and FamilyTime, however, these come at a costly monthly charge and monitor only online browsing activity.

Parents in the UAE have had mixed responses when it comes to monitoring their children's phone and limiting access. While some have said it will help them ensure their kids aren't forming an addiction to their phones and gadgets, others believe it will "damage the trust" between the child and parent.

A parent of two children, Prachi Sinha, said monitoring her kids' phones can help her make sure that they aren't partaking in dangerous activities or online games.

"As a parent, you want to be in the know of what your child is up to. I would like to know if they are using too much of WhatsApp or Instagram. The earlier I know that they are becoming addicted, I can help them limit how much they are using their phones," Sinha said.

"As they get older, maybe, we won't have to put limits on how much of their phone they are using because they will know good from bad. Monitoring their phones when they are young can help us keep them safe. This can also help during school hours and help me see if they are using their phones while in class. I can also lock their phones during homework time."

However, one parent, Alifiya Sura, believes monitoring a child's phone is "unnecessary". She said parents should be able to make an effective schedule for their offspring without having to take over their phones.

"It is the new age and it is important to adapt, as long as the kids use the devices for learning, research and educative apps, it is acceptable. In addition, parents should also ensure a balanced physical schedule of running games sports to keep them active," she said.

A parent of one, Sameera Ibrahim, said she will not monitor her 15-year-old daughter's phone as it will "hurt the trust" between the two.

"If I start locking her applications or changing her password, she will think that I do not trust her and that will create problems. If she has earned my trust, I want her to have a little freedom. But, if she is not following the rules, then I will think about monitoring her phone activities," she said.

More about Screen Time

In September, Apple will launch a built-in feature in their iOS12 that will allow parents to lock certain apps on their child's iPhone or iPad, limit access to apps, monitor amount of usage of phone and each app, check how many times their child has picked up their phone and change their password.

The feature is called Screen Time is meant to tackle phone addiction in not only adults but, also children.

There are parental control apps already available, such as Watchover and FamilyTime, however, these come at a costly monthly charge and monitor only online browsing activity. With Screen Time, parents will be able to restrict or allow a certain amount of time for each app. If the child wants more time to use an app, a notification requesting for more time from their parent will show up and the parent can permit extra minutes or hours through their own device.

"In iOS 12, we're offering our users detailed information and tools to help them better understand and control the time they spend with apps and websites, how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad during the day and how they receive notifications," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "We first introduced parental controls for iPhone in 2008, and our team has worked thoughtfully over the years to add features to help parents manage their children's content. With Screen Time, these new tools are empowering users who want help managing their device time, and balancing the many things that are important to them."

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com

KT NANO EDIT: Moderate is the way

Parental controls on smartphones will surely help keep a tab on our children's online activities, and in a way protect them from the dark world of the web. But it is not enough. Our society at large is struggling with smartphone addiction, which is the root cause of several problems. Parents and caregivers need to lessen their screen time first, and make efforts to enjoy offline than online. Children will soon follow.

Copyright © 2018 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

Disclaimer: The content of this article is syndicated or provided to this website from an external third party provider. We are not responsible for, and do not control, such external websites, entities, applications or media publishers. The body of the text is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither we nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this article. Read our full disclaimer policy here.